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£38m Health Projects Given Go Ahead

Two multi-million pound health centres have been given the green light thanks to funding from the Scottish Government.

Scottish Government (24/06/2015) - Deputy First Minister John Swinney will today announce that Clydebank Health Centre and Greenock Health and Care Centre will be funded as part of the Scottish Government’s £409 million investment in the non-profit distributing (NPD) programme.

The announcement sees Mr Swinney double the £19 million for NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde secured from the £409 million extension to the Non Profit Distributing (NPD) programme announced in November.

Speaking at the NHS Scotland Event this afternoon, Mr Swinney will say:

“I am delighted to announce that we are able to invest in new health centres in both Greenock and Clydebank which have an estimated capital value of £38 million.

“Both health centres will improve vital primary care services in these areas, giving the people of Clydebank and Greenock access to the most up-to-date, high quality healthcare facilities in their area. This is particularly important as we move towards the integration of health and social care, with local authority and NHS partners working together to deliver more care in the community.

“In addition to this, these projects will provide economic regeneration in both areas and by combining these two projects, we estimate that we are able to save over £4 million in capital and revenue costs.

“Strong public services are the bedrock of a fair and prosperous society. The NHS in Scotland exemplifies this. That is why we have protected the NHS budget. The total NHS budget is now above £12 billion for the first time ever.”

Mr Swinney announced plans in November last year to invest over £400 million in new hospitals and health centres as part of the £1 billion extension to the Non Profit Distributing (NPD) programme.

Robert Calderwood, Chief Executive, NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde, added: “We are delighted that funding is available for both Clydebank and Greenock to get brand new healthcare facilities fit for the 21st century.

“NHSGGC is committed to tackling health inequalities, improving health and contributing to social regeneration in areas of deprivation. The development of these two new centres will have symbolic importance for Clydebank and Greenock for future generations.”

   

Scottish Land Reform Bill Introduced

The CSPP brings the introduction of the Land Reform (Scotland) Bill to the attention of our members. Land reform is an issue of interest to the CSPP as part of our policy work concerning the people and places of Scotland. The CSPP has promoted debate on land reform in the run up to the introduction of this Bill, including holding an “in conversation” event with land reform campaigner Andy Wightman in February 2015. An official press release on the introduction of the Bill is posted below.

Scottish Government (23/6/15) - Land Reform Minster Aileen McLeod has pledged to end “the stop start nature of historic land reform” with the publication of legislation today.

The Bill is designed to ensure the issues of fairness, equality and social justice connected to the ownership of, access to and use of land in Scotland are given a permanent footing with the creation of a Scottish Land Commission.

This will be backed by a requirement on the Scottish Government to have a statement on rights and responsibilities over land, and issuing guidance to landowners on engaging responsibly with communities. 

Alongside this structural reform, the Bill brings forward a number of practical measures that will make a real difference to communities. This includes giving communities a right to buy land to further sustainable development, which applies in both urban and rural Scotland. 

It also proposes powers that will enable communities or individuals to find out information about owners and tenants of land where this would help them resolve the issues they face.

Key measures in the bill include:

o Ending rates exemptions for shooting and deerstalking estates;
o Creating a Tenant Farming Commissioner as part of the Scottish Land Commission, along with other modernising elements of Scotland’s tenant farming legislation;
o Encouraging better information and greater transparency on the ownership of land, through the land register; 
o Strengthening the regulators hand in instances where land owners are failing to take their deer management responsibilities seriously; 
o Improvements to both systems of common good land and right to roam.

The Bill will support the Government’s existing work to pass power to people and local communities, encourage and support responsible and diverse landownership and ensure communities have a say in how land in their area is used.

Land Reform Minister, Dr. Aileen McLeod, outlined details of the Land Reform Bill today during a visit to Carluke Development Trust, she said:

“We cannot underestimate the crucial part land reform will play in contributing to the future success of communities across Scotland. Through the Land Reform Bill we want to ensure that future generations have access to land required to promote business and economic growth and to provide access to good quality, affordable food, energy and housing.

“The introduction of the Bill is a significant step forward in ensuring our land is used in the public interest and to the benefit of the people of Scotland. It will also end the stop start nature of land reform in Scotland that has limited progress.

“Tackling the causes and consequences of inequality is at the heart of this government’s work.

“Land is one of our most valuable assets. Owning land can help realise the aspirations and potential of our communities, making a real difference to long-term sustainability, and building stronger, more resilient and supportive communities. Carluke Development Trust is a fantastic example of an ambitious local community who are trying to buy the town’s old historic mill and the land around it, to turn it into a community and tourist resource. 

“At the heart of these proposals is the principle of responsibility that comes with all land ownership, and while there are many exemplary landowners in Scotland, the message is clear, it is no longer acceptable to own land in Scotland and not take the public responsibilities that come with that ownership seriously. I know this Bill will be good for the people of Scotland, encourage greater public interest and participation in land and help our communities reach their potential.”

ENDS

   

Community Renewable Ownership Hits New Heights

Scottish Government (23/06/15) - Community and locally owned energy capacity in Scotland could generate enough electricity to power approximately 100,000 domestic households, Energy Minister Fergus Ewing announced at the Scottish Renewables' Onshore Wind Conference today.

As at June 2014, 361 Megawatts (MW) of community and locally energy capacity is now operational which is a 27 per cent increase from the last update and shows Scotland is on course to make the 500 MW target by 2020. This could however be hindered as result of the recent announcement by the Department of Energy and Climate Change, of their intention to close the Renewables Obligation for onshore wind from April 2016.

Mr Ewing, who is making the keynote address at the conference, will tell the audience:

“The Scottish Government is defining a distinctive approach to Scotland’s future energy provision; putting communities at the heart of decisions about their local energy system; and empowering them to take an economic stake in new developments. We are well on our way to achieving our target by 2020 which has the potential value to our communities and local businesses of up to £2.2 billion. 

“Onshore wind is our most successful technology for community benefits, and it has the potential to transform local areas through community ownership. Giving communities more control over their own energy will help us tackle challenges like grid constraints and fuel poverty – while at the same time sparking economic revival.

“On the Isle of Lewis we have the largest community-owned wind farm in the UK at 9MW. This will generate around £1 million each year for the local community who will decide how to spend that money. However, potentially the future of projects like this could be under threat as a result of the recent announcements by the UK Government, and it will be tragic if these opportunities are lost to future communities.

“I will continue to discuss with the UK Government ways that commercial schemes with shared community ownership can be encouraged under all support schemes and in the meantime, the Scottish Government will use our own powers to keep up the momentum we’ve already built.”

ENDS

   

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